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File replication between 2 sites? Recommendations, Ideas?

Posted on 2010-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I need to share files between 2 locations. Currently 1 location "SITEA" has a windows 2003 server hosting a windows file share that the entire company(about 75 users) uses for all our accounting files, HR files, web dev files, photos for website, etc... 1/3 of the company has moved to a building (about 50 yards across the street) "SITEB". Users at SITEB connect to the file server at SITEA over site-to-site VPN. When there are lots of users accessing the file server over the VPN things slow to a crawl. I need to allow users the freedom to have quick access to the file server no matter which building they're in.....file replication? Setup a VM at SITEB that is a file server?

I need ideas, recommendations, best practices and a solution.

SITEA
Windows 2003 server standard (file server) (will be 2008 enterpise DC replicated w/ SITEB)
50 users
T1 connectivity
Sonicwall NSA 240

SITEB
15 users
(developing server 2008 enterprise VM's on ESXI 4.1 which will have a DC replcated w/SITEA)
Comcast 50Mb/s down 20Mb/s up
Sonicwall NSA 240
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Question by:cgillet
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Expert Comment

by:rvivek_2002
ID: 33718915
Set up a domain DFS root. add the shared folders and add replication sets.
This will enabel replication and a unified name space for all the files share.
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by:cgillet
ID: 33719024
I haven't done that in windows before. Do you have any resources (websites etc..) that might have more details on how this is accomplished?

Thanks for such a quick response!
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jonyelton earned 500 total points
ID: 33720450
Here you go.  The initial population may be bad, but based on the information you provided, I bet you everything will be able to replicate pretty quickly.

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Windows2003-Distributed-File-System.html
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Author Comment

by:cgillet
ID: 33739371
Thanks for the info guys. I'm planning on deploying this tomorrow. Let me know what you think.

SiteA
ServerA
AD,Domain Controller
DNS,DHCP
DFS server

SiteB
ServerB
AD,Domain Controller
DNS, DHCP
DFS server

I won't be doing an initial data transfer into the DFS volume. I want to setup my directory structure more efficiently/securely without any data. Then set my old share as read only. Let my users drag and drop thier important docs etc... then decommision my old share after a few weeks.

Crazy?
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Expert Comment

by:jonyelton
ID: 33744233
Certainly, this is unique, but as long as everything is tested and works, you should be fine.  I think the size of your site will really determine your performance though.  

If your network is on the larger size,

Can I assume both Sites will have a different Gateway?  You certainly don't want Site B tunneling through Site A for internet.   I would also recommend limiting the clients in both sites to their own DHCP scope and DNS servers.  And just utlize DNS forwarders on the servers if you need access the other site.

The key is test, test test and verify replication before hand.  Good luck.
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